So you want to belong to a hardcore gym?

Lots of people like the idea of belonging to a “hardcore” gym. It gives us a sense of power. It makes us feel like we are willing to go beyond the pink and purple rooms filled with treadmills and ellipticals where everyone holds hands and sings Kumbaya while eating bagels and pizza (mmmmm…bagels and pizza) and do things others aren’t willing to do. Before we own this sense of belonging (and maybe even a bit of elitism) we need to ask ourselves what does it even mean to be “hardcore?”

Is a hardcore gym full of rusty barbells, sledge hammers, chains, and clanging steel plates where chalk always hangs thick in the air? Is there always death metal playing? Is everything painted black? Are there dumbbells up to 200lbs? Is it named “The Iron Dungeon” or “Mike’s House of Pain?”  Well…….maybe. And maybe not.

It is hard to define what makes a gym hardcore. The reality is that it isn’t about appearance, or music, or the name of the gym. It’s about work ethic! If I walk into a gym that I’ve never been in before and I find myself surrounded by people who are focused, headphones in, banging out sets and reps, sweating, minimizing small talk, and getting shit done, then I know I have walked into a hardcore gym! This has nothing to do with my surroundings. It has everything to do with the people. Maybe I happen to be in Planet Schmidtness. (See what I did there? Schmidtness…..Get it? Get it?) Not the most likely scenario, but certainly possible that it can be hardcore.

My point is simply this, YOU make it hardcore. When you set yourself to the task of getting the most out of your workout and going at it with 100% intensity day in and day out then YOU are the contributing factor. It’s not just an inherent quality that exists when you walk in the door. You don’t automatically get a membership card to hardcore when you make your first payment. If I walk into Westside Barbell and I see a group of gorilla sized tattooed guys standing around eating muffins (mmmmm….muffins) and talking about last night’s episode of Big Brother season 94, then all the chains and chalk in the world lose their gravitas!

So….be hardcore. Go hard. Focus. Push. Go past your comfort zone into that grey area of controlled pain. This is where you find that magical unicorn we named RESULTS! This is what it means to be hardcore. If you don’t have this kind of grit and determination, then no amount of death metal or beat up, rusty, ancient gym equipment will make it so. You can be a soccer Mom or a 40 something Dad with a belly trying out Zumba for the first time. It doesn’t matter. If you are putting in serious effort and giving it your all, then you my friend are HARDCORE! Go forth……Lift, eat, sleep, (bacon….okay okay…be moderate here) coffee, repeat! Be hardcore.

Brad Preslar